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What Insurance Do I Need For My New Business?

Every business owner needs some form of insurance. Think of insurance policies as safety nets that you can land on if you slip off the business ladder. There’s a lot that can go wrong when running your company and the recovery could cost you a fortune. Everything from theft to a lawsuit is a possibility that you may need to consider. With the right insurance policy in place, you can soften the blow of any financial issue.

You also need to understand that some forms of insurance are not optional. Small businesses are legally required to have certain insurance policies in place to protect the business, their employees, and the general public. Here are some of the insurance policies that you need to have in place before your new company opens on the market.

General Liability

General liability protects you if your business injures another individual or causes damage to property. With general liability, you can make sure you are covered with a defense and if you need to pay damages. As such, it is crucial for any and all business owners, whether working from home, a factory or in an office. There are lots of instances where general liability insurance could come into play. For instance, a member of the general public might be injured on your property due to tripping over a wire in your office. If this occurs, the insurance may help you pay for any legal costs or compensation.

Worker’s Compensation

Excluding Texas, all states require business owners to have workers compensation insurance in place if they have more than five employees. This form of insurance provides compensation to workers who are injured on the job, at work, usually on the property. In some states, it is possible for workers to claim on injuries that they suffered from while away from the business property within business hours. The insurance can be used for anything from paying medical bills to covering lost wages. By having worker’s compensation, business owners can avoid the possibility of injured employees suing for damages due to an injury. Penalties for not having the right workers compensation in place are costly and should be avoided.

Professional Liability

Any business that offers services to clients or customers will need to consider getting professional liability insurance. This protects a company in the event of errors or negligence while offering a service. For instance, doctors have this insurance to in case they are sued for malpractice. It is useful for a wide range of companies from hair salons to law firms.

Product Liability

Product liability relates specifically to products being sold by your business. If you sell products, this will protect you if the product in question is argued to be defective or causes injury to customers. For instance, in the past, there have been toy firms that have been sued for using lead paint on their products. With product liability, these firms were able to avoid expensive legal costs.

Data Breach

Business owners often hold a lot of sensitive data about clients and customers. Usually, if a hack does occur in your business, customers will be the targets rather than your company. As such, it is important to protect yourself from the cost of losing sensitive data. With data breach insurance you will be covered for any legal damages related to this issue. It is important to realize that this insurance protects a business whether the data was lost electronically or through a paper file.

Property Insurance

Property insurance will protect your business from any damage to your property or any items inside it. For instance, it ensures that you are covered if computer hardware is stolen from your office. Or, if a fire destroys part of your building. It is also possible to increase the insurance policy to ensure that loss of earnings are protected if your business is not able to function due to the damage that has occurred.

Commercial Auto Insurance

You might want to think about personal automobile insurance if you are using a fleet of vehicles for your company. This is going to be particularly important for any business that has transportation as a major part of their business model. For instance, a logistics business owner should make this insurance a top priority. It protects you from bodily injury, physical damage and liability in the event of an accident on the road involving a car your company owns.

Homeowner’s Insurance

If you are running your business from home, homeowner’s insurance is going to come into play. This will protect you from the loss or damage of any property in your home. It can also ensure that you are covered if any injury occurs in your home or an accident that you may have caused.

Renters Insurance

Renters insurance is specifically for business owners who are renting their home or their property. Similar to homeowner’s insurance it protects the renter in the event or property damage, a personal injury or damage to the property itself.

Life Insurance

It’s possible that your business is going to have the potential to make you a lot of money in the future. If you passed away, you would want to make sure that your loved ones still benefited from the potential earnings of your company. With a life insurance policy, the insurance company pays out a certain amount of money to your beneficiaries. This amount is based on how much you would have expected to make if you had lived a full life. As such, it can give new business owners peace of mind and guarantee that the potential for their business earnings are protected.

Personal Umbrella Insurance

Finally, you should consider looking into personal umbrella insurance. This gives you an extra level of protection from legal claims, property damage and any other financial loss that you might incur. Often, this form of insurance is sought out when all other forms of coverage have been used. As such, it is commonly used by larger corporates and bigger businesses. You probably won’t need it straight out of the gate.

Additional Resources

5 Key areas to look into when looking into business insurance
25 Expert Insurance Tips When Starting a Business
Business insurance when you’re self employed

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Finance

Why Entrepreneurs Often Fail

entrepreneur

Entrepreneur is an interesting word. It conjures up thoughts of bravery and superior business wisdom. It’s a person who sees in something what most of us fail to see.

Take that idea, develop it and in turn found a business on it. When it works, it’s pure genius, and we’re in awe of their aptitude. However most businesses fail so most Entrepreneurs are less skilled than we give them credit for.

Bravery in launching a new business is really just a higher level of risk taking and with good debt it’s more acceptable. Good debt is a loan that used to create a revenue, i.e. it’s an investment used to generate and grow an income. Here’s a more extensive definition of good debt.

So the Entrepreneur or business will increase its borrowings via a line of credit, or even a home loan to invest in its products or people with the objective of earning more revenue.

The risky part of borrowing is the end goal is speculative i.e. its usually a well thought out plan but it’s not actually happened and numbers have to work out, i.e. the increase in revenue due to the loan, far exceeds the costs of the loan and other additional expenses, like more staff or systems.

Entrepreneurs have an appetite for risk and as mentioned it sometimes works out but mostly it doesn’t so it’s important to understand the pros and cons of business loans.

Once the good debt options run out, then the only way to go is bad debt loans and this is when it can all spiral downwards for businesses. Bad debt loans are essentially non income producing so they’re a liability. The loans can not be leveraged to make money. They can be written off against taxes and there is also bad debt recovery which is another subject altogether.

Startups fail for many of the same reasons including:

  • Lack of working capital – affecting operations
  • Liquidity issues with cash flow – struggling to pay staff, suppliers
  • Business growing too quickly – not enough resources to deliver on orders
  • Ego – too big to fail

Often it’s not just one thing either but a combo of challenges that just become too much to handle alone. The smart operators don’t go it alone though they have mentors.

Entrepreneurs Need Mentors Too

Behind every good Entrepreneur is a mentor. Yes this is not the adage you were expecting but it works.

Mentors keep us in check. They’re our sounding boards, listening to our rants and raves. Offering an objective viewpoint and advice on the direction we should take.

Of course no one person can be trusted to do the lot so more than one mentor is recommended. The experience and trusted authority from mentorship is recognised in just about all great leaders. Think of the big names in business today and they’ll say they have amazing mentors.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg had Steve Jobs, and Bill Gate had Warren Buffett.

Maybe this is where some Entrepreneurs go wrong? They either don’t have mentors or they don’t use them enough.

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Finance

Neo or Ethereum – where is your investment safer

crypto currencies

The advent of cryptocurrencies and its stellar rise, despite relative infancy and new technology, have arguably impacted the marketing world significantly. Booming in the previous year, 2017 saw a rush of millions of money poured into the cryptocurrency market. And considering its continuously growing network, there is no sign that 2018 will be any different.

Over the last few years, cryptocurrencies and other blockchain projects were able to gain very impressive returns that helped investors to be ridiculously successful. However, inevitably, many had experienced its dramatic declines as well. But despite the risk, more and more people are looking for the next big thing in the market which has the highest potential to multiply ones’ investment. And while there are hundreds of cryptocurrencies, that although represent opportunities to achieve sustainable growth, are also highly risky; and from which it is quite hard to predict which one gives the best result, this article will focus on the two of the most popular alternate coins (altcoins) of today – Ethereum and NEO.

Ethereum and NEO are both high-profile altcoins with massive community support and which many investors swear by one or the other. However, as “the competition for the coin is expected to become tougher in 2018 as new players enter the domain”, the question of whether which of the two will be left holding the scepter becomes less important – but rather, where will investments be safer.

To attempt to answer this question, let’s take a closer look at the two altcoins.

Ethereum versus NEO: Philosophical Differences

Ethereum, according to its website, is “a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third-party interference.”

NEO, on the other hand, is defined as a “non-profit community-based blockchain project that utilizes blockchain technology and digital identity to digitize assets, to automate the management of digital assets using smart contracts, and to realize a ‘smart economy’ with a distributed network.”

These respective definitions might sound remarkably similar – because, in many ways, they are. That is, both of them “run on a custom built block-chain that can move value around and represent the ownership of the property.”

Moreover, at first glance, these respective definitions might also imply that the two altcoins share the same objectives as both are aiming to dominate the cryptocurrency market by playing the similar roles of being the blockchain platforms for the new internet (or platforms that offer decentralized functionalities) such as Decentralized Applications (DApps), Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), and smart contracts. However, they aren’t, as there are subtle differences:

Ethereum’s goal is to develop its platform in response to new demands – that is, consolidating its role as the go-to platform for ICO’s. Whilst, NEO’s goal is mostly focused on developing its platform for future demands by realizing a so-called “smart economy” that will feature digitized physical assets which can be sold, traded, and leveraged through smart contracts.

Ethereum versus NEO: Backing and Partnership Differences

Because Ethereum is a certified government-agnostic, it is supported by some of the biggest global corporate names such as Enterprise Ethereum Alliance – making it enjoy popularity tointernational audience and thus, much larger support from the tech community.

All the same with NEO – the Chinese government might have gone far as to ban the ICO’s, but NEO remains to be China-based and Chinese-focused. Despite the country being seemingly unfriendly to the industry, NEO manages to receive backing from national banks and states – which allows it to capitalize on the huge Chinese market. Furthermore, it is also supported by Alibaba and Microsoft.

Ethereum versus NEO: Target Market Differences

There can be no doubt that Ethereum and NEO have the huge potential to become the next Bitcoin. Due to the impressive capabilities of their pluses to outweigh the minuses, both of which are continuously gaining popularity especially in comparison to other cryptocurrencies in the market.

Ethereum, which although has already been adopted by blockchain startups worldwide, is proportionally concentrated in the Western countries. Meanwhile, NEO is largely capitalizing in China.

Looking closely, Ethereum seems to benefit from a certain fallacy of thought that “West is the best” – which is quite true in terms of Western products catering to Western markets. But many fail to understand that Chinese investors are less likely to adopt Western technologies as they (like many East Asians) are far readier to support home-grown technology taking pride in and loyalty to national products.

NEO, however, might be having the advantage of a technologically-driven population that is nearly 1.4 billion people strong; not to mention that Chinese investors make up a very large percentage of the world’s cryptocurrency investors. But one should not fail to consider that the involvement of the Chinese government, which might have made NEO a state-mandated currency, plays a significant role in building a loyal following from Chinese investors.

Ethereum versus NEO: Where is your investment safer?

With the capabilities (i.e., both projects are open source and has massive community support) and differences (i.e., serving different markets and the opposite directions their visions are taking) that these altcoins have, should there really be a question of which among Ethereum and NEO is better, or should you invest in both?

While NEO appears and is turning out to be more investment-worthy – focusing on creating a “smart economy”, it should not be forgotten that Ethereum still holds the position of being the second most popular cryptocurrency in the world with a total market cap of $105 billion as compared to NEO’s $9 billion (as of January 25, 2018).

Thus, given that we are dealing with two very robust technologies, it might be better to conclude that there is certainly space aplenty for both altcoins to coexist.

And as to where your investment will be safer, perhaps the most suitable answer is in the altcoin where you can best tolerate the risk and that you understand well. There are more and more investors getting on board who often have a very limited understanding of the technicalities of the cryptocurrency they support, ending up investing based on brand loyalty and hearsays and even merely along the lines “Ethereum of China” NEO vs Ethereum.

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Finance

Top Six Ways Cash Advance Can Help A Business Grow

cash advance

A cash advance or merchant cash advance is a form of short-term loan given to a small business. Cash advance are payable with interest rates usually around 25% of the principal. The loan is paid by deducting a percentage of sales made periodically (usually weekly) from credit cards.

Cash advance are useful because the lenders do not ask for credit scores, collateral and other things that other banks and other lenders will ask for. Cash advance are also fast and are useful when loans are needed urgently.

If used the right way, cash advance loans are one of the best ways to grow a business. Here are the top six ways by which cash advance can help a business grow:

1. Payment of staff salaries:

There are moments when business is bad, but you need to pay your employees. A cash advance will help you to pay your employees and keep them motivated. If you are a small business looking to hire employees to handle more jobs, but you don’t have the means to pay them yet, you can get a cash advance to help you pay their salaries at first before you find yourself on your feet.

2. Purchase of equipment:

Imagine that you are a contractor, handyman or you are involved in any other kind of business, and you need to get a job. But the requirements of the contract or job involve having some equipment. You can collect a cash advance and use it to buy the equipment so that you can get the job or win the contract. Then, you pay back the cash advance gradually.

3. Stocking of inventory:

A lot of businesses use cash advance to buy inventory and stock them. You need to have goods in stock to satisfy your customers and retain them. When you’re just starting, it may be difficult to buy all the inventory items that you need yourself. A cash advance will help you do that. If you deal in seasonal goods, you can buy a lot of goods offseason with a cash advance.

4. Advertisement:

Without advertisement, no one will know about your goods and services. With advertisement, you can ensure that a lot of people know about your products and patronize you. But advertisement could be costly. Branding, building a website, radio and TV ads are expensive. A cash advance could pay for all these, and you pay back as the profits start to roll in.

5. Business expansion:

If you are a small business, expansion of the business could be difficult and expensive especially if you are opening a new branch in another location. You’ll need to replicate most of your assets, hire new staff, spend on advertisement and other things. A cash advance can help you with all these, and you then use the proceeds from the cash advance to pay for everything.

6. Increase working capital:

Working capital is the money that you use to manage the day-to-day affairs of your business. As a small business, you might need a cash advance to help you increase your working capital, so that you can increase your business operations. You will earn more profits which will help you repay the cash advance faster.

Conclusion

If used the right way, a cash advance could be what will take your business to the next level. Before taking the loan, decide how much you need. Plan out how you will spend it before receiving it. Meet your lenders and explain why you need cash advance to them. And once you receive the loan, use it for the exact thing you collected it for. Do not divert the loan for other purposes.

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